BC men’s basketball took on former Big East foe Providence for the 112th time tonight and it was a barn burner. The Eagles came out on the wrong end of a 100-95 overtime thriller to take their second loss on the season.
The Eagles found themselves in trouble early, falling behind by as many as 11 most of the way through the first half. The defense had trouble defending the paint with Nik Popovic out, and the corner threes were falling for the Friars, who hit five of their first nine. BC made a 21-6 run in the last seven minutes of the half to retake the lead before halftime. They were spurred by the clutch shooting of Chris Herren Jr. and his trio of timely threes, and by the unrelenting presence of Steffon Mitchell who gathered nine rebounds and four steals.
Providence went to the full court pressure to try to slow down the BC offense and they were effective at taking the Eagles out of their offense. Jordan Chatman had a big second half on his way to 28 points. Jairus Hamilton was asked to shoulder much of the load against PC’s bigs and was not pushed around inside; he played 27 minutes and had 13 points before fouling out at the end of regulation. The Friars and Eagles were both in the bonus early in the second half and it would come down to foul shooting. BC bested the Friars at the line, shooting 80% to PC’s 67.6%, and Chatman’s free throws with 11 seconds left put BC up 3. Unfortunately, Providence had an answer with a quick three from their leading scorer, AJ Reeves, to send the game into overtime.
The Eagles ran out of gas in overtime and were hit with some tough calls, including a very questionable one against Bowman on a Reeves three. Despite overall strong FT%, BC struggled from the line in overtime and missed multiple key shots at the line. With a 3-point deficit and 27 seconds on the clock, BC had the ball and the opportunity for the last play. Bowman drove early in the shot clock and, perhaps expecting contact that didn’t come, missed the layup. That would seal the game for Providence who made their final shots when BC was forced to foul. In a hard -fought game, it was an ugly ending. The Eagles fall to 6-2 and will travel to Texas A&M this weekend for another opportunity for an OOC win.